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Pakeezah actress Geeta Kapoor dies; search on for missing son to perform last rites

Kapoor had been living in an old age home after being abandoned by her son Raja, a choreographer, in 2017.

Keyur Seta

Veteran actress Geeta Kapoor, 67, breathed her last today (26 May) morning in Mumbai. Known for her role in Kamal Amrohi’s classic Pakeezah (1972), she was staying at an old age home after being abandoned by her son Raja, a choreographer.

Kapoor was being taken care of collectively by filmmaker and member of the Central Board of Film Certification Ashoke Pandit, producer Ramesh Taurani and a few others. They are now searching for her son to perform her last rites.

Speaking with us, Pandit said, “Technically we have to wait for two days for her close blood relative for the last rites. If the person proves we would do the last rites properly. We are trying to share as much as possible so that her son sees somehow. He should at least come for the last rites. Panchnama is made. There was no postmortem. The body is kept at Cooper Hospital.”

He also informed that Kapoor used to frequently ask about Raja and hoped he would return. “She used to say only one thing, ‘My son will come to take me, 100%.’ She used to scold me and ask me to call him. I used to keep giving her assurances by spinning stories that he will come or he has gone somewhere. It was her wish that her son would come. Now, if he does her last rites, at least her soul will rest in peace. Even her daughter is not coming forward. This is weird,” he said.

Speaking about the veteran actress's condition, Pandit said, “I had gone to meet her a couple of days ago at the orphanage. It’s a regular practice for me. She was definitely weak since last year. Since recent times she was only on liquid diet. Her health worsened today at around 8 or 8.30am. She breathed her last at 9am.”

If none of her relatives come forward, Pandit and others will perform the last rites on Monday (27 May). “We will call a lot people and will make sure she gets a good send off,” he said.

Raja had admitted his mother at a suburban hospital in Mumbai in April 2017 after her blood pressure fluctuated. He allegedly lied to the hospital staff that he was in the Indian army and promised to take care of her bills from where he would be posted, but soon disappeared.

Pandit put up a post on Facebook announcing Kapoor's death and asking her children to come forward to perform the last rites.